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Spooky and Not So Spooky Children's Books

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

With the arrival of the spookiest month of the year, some middle graders want to read scary books. You don't have to cringe at the thought of your child reading spooky stories. I prefer books that are supposed to be scary but are humorous. But this is not about me, right? So I've added a little of both. Take a look at my picks.

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. That's right, I said it. I pretty much ignore it. I turn my porch light off just in case a kid decides to stop by the only house on the street without Halloween decorations. Ha Ha! I sound like a real Halloween scrooge. Bah humbug!

So why am I writing about eerie books? Because I know there are kids who like to read them. Growing up in a Christian household, my mom wasn't having it. There were no horror stories in our house. Now that I think about it, I don't think my children read any either. Thank goodness for school, right? You can count on your teacher to freak you out with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Mine did. I enjoyed it, but whew, I was terrified too.

Now, back to my young readers who enjoy tales that give them chills and cause them to have to sleep with the lights on. I've listed a few books I've actually read myself, and I don't read scary books. I'm like a toddler and will have nightmares (Don't judge me. LOL).

I had the worst time finding middle grade books that weren't overly spooky. Note that all the books may not be appropriate for bedtime, though. Every child is different, so parents should gauge whether the book is too scary for their child.

This one was actually part of my September giveaway. It's not scary in a witches and ghouls way but in an alien invasion way. It was creepy and funny.

The Prepper family is prepared for the end of the world. Or, at the very least, the end of toilet paper.

Doomy Prepper knows the rules. Never trade sandwiches with Mikey Fuller. He always has tuna fish. Don’t stare at Mrs. Nebula’s mole. You’ll turn into stone. And never, ever talk about the lights.

When 11-year-old Doomy notices the mysterious lights above his town have changed color, he makes the mistake of telling his best friend, Peter. Now three other kids want to tag along and solve the mystery, too. The group is convinced the lights are the reason their classmates have all started disappearing. As soon as their teacher vanishes and a nasty substitute named Ms. Martian steps in, Doomy is sure something extraterrestrial is taking place.

A surprise field trip orchestrated by Ms. Martian has Doomy and his friends on an adventure they’ll never forget. Or survive. At least not without the help of some Prepper family tricks. And, of course, toilet paper. Check it out.

Hey, I couldn't make this list without mentioning one of mine. It's the least scary and more of a humorous school life adventure.

Lolo and Winkle have zombie fever!

A movie ignites a notion in Winkle that the zombie apocalypse is coming. Lolo, again, finds herself caught in the middle of one of Winkle's big ideas as he assembles a diverse group of uncanny friends to prepare for the zombie takeover.

Lolo believes it's all in fun until the school bully says she's seen a zombie and demands membership in the club. They prepare for the apocalypse with drills on the beach, martial arts training, and secret meetings.  There's only one problem: nothing you do can prepare you for coming face to face with a real zombie! Check it out!

Guys, this was so good, but it really freaked me out. Okay, yes, I'm a wuss when it comes to scary stuff, but some of the scenes... The author is amazing. I'm just saying, the descriptions can get pretty frightening. Don't say I didn't warn you.

"Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt's vast and opulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity. Check it out!

The illustrations alone make this book so enjoyable.

At night, this mischievous bunch peeks out from under your bed. When you hear that creak . . . creak . . . THE CREAKERS are there! Discover a hilarious and eerie middle-grade story by a UK star. What would you do if you woke up to a world with no grown-ups? When all the parents in the world disappear, most kids think this is amazing! They can finally run wild and eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But Lucy Dungston wants to get her mom back, especially because her dad disappeared not long ago. Lucy wants the truth, and she’s convinced that the creaking sounds that come from under her bed can lead her to it. Creak . . . creak . . . That’s when Lucy meets the Creakers, a bunch of sticky, smelly creatures who live under children’s beds. This troublesome bunch has taken all the grown-ups to an upside-down world called the Woleb. Lucy must act fast if she wants to rescue the grown-ups, because adults who stay in the Woleb too long start becoming Creakers! Check it out!

This one is part of a series. It's a great book for fans of Harry Potter.

Winner of the 2019 Children's Literary Classics Award for Middle Grade General

Winner of the 2019 Book Excellence Award for Children's Fiction

There is no magic in the village of Larkmoor. None, except for the spark that runs through twelve-year-old Fable’s veins. Living under the roof of her over-protective aunt, her powers are kept secret, hidden inside the walls of their home.

But not everything is as boring as it seems in that cozy cottage. When a strange book lands in Fable’s lap and her cousin disappears into its pages, she follows, hurtling into an enchanted forest far from the rolling hills of her home. This is a land filled with strange people, magical creatures, and more danger than Fable has ever dreamed of.

She must battle for not only a way home, but for the lives of those she loves most. With the help of her peculiar new friends, Fable must learn to trust in herself or risk losing her cousin forever. Can she save him before it’s too late? Check it out!

Ha Ha! Casper. Now that's one I can handle.

I once read that children need to read fairytales because they need to know that dragons can be killed. Scary stories teach them that ghosts and witches can be conquered, as long as you give them a book where good wins. But what about the pages in between? Yeah, you get a delightful ending, but the middle sticks with you and haunts you in your sleep. Just a thought from a scaredy-cat. LOL



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